If your thirties are located somewhere in your rearview mirror, then I don’t need to tell you that staying lean isn’t quite as easy as it was back in the day.
Now, most people think it has something to do with their metabolism getting slower. But what if I told you that isn’t really the case?
We like to tell ourselves that our metabolisms are significantly slower because it offers us a convenient reason (*ahem..excuse..* ahem) to chalk it up as being out of our control.
While it can be more challenging to lose fat in your forties, it doesn’t have to be, and it is possible! Here are 3 reasons that fat loss after age 40 gets tougher.
Let’s face it: as we get older, we move less. It’s not like we’re rolling up to basketball practices or frequently riding bikes with our friends. We move less because of things like work, commuting our kids, and, more importantly, less opportunity to move. This doesn’t sound like much, but the effects can be seen when someone goes from a physical job to a desk job, and the weight just seems to pile on. Even if the effects aren’t quite as dramatic, burning less calories over time can really add up. A little over 100 calories per day, over your typical intake, can add up to 10-12 lbs over a year.
Plan to make movement intentional. Schedule walks in your calendar. Attend a group exercise class. Park farther away. Take the stairs. Hire a personal trainer to take you through your workout.
It’s going to happen to everyone. Once you hit your thirties, you lose more and more muscle every year. The medical field has even given this a name: Sarcopenia. The problem with this is that muscle is a transformation powerhouse. It not only looks better and is more functional than body fat, but it is more metabolically active. In other words, it burns more calories. It also helps shuttle carbohydrates away from fat cells and helps increase insulin sensitivity. When we lose muscle, not only do we get weaker, but we look worse, we get tired more easily, and we burn less calories
Start strength training. Not the stuff with the 1-3lb weights. That’s for rehab and very senior citizens. A legit program that helps you progress, keeps you safe, and helps stop you from losing muscle.
Think back to the first time you watched what you ate… even a little bit. You may remember the weight coming off just so damn easy. Now, however, it just feels like NOTHING works.
Well, your body didn’t just stop abiding by the laws of thermodynamics. It may, however, be operating with the parking brake on. When we try to push fat loss through aggressive dieting, our body remembers the discomfort of being hungry and tired. It remembers the stress, and because of this, it has adapted to prevent the same discomfort from happening. There is a certain “tolerance,” initially, if you will. Then we as humans see this effort that had worked before, get frustrated by the lack of results, and ultimately quit. Only to repeat this a gazillion more times in a stop-start pattern that only makes things worse.
Develop a plan to stay consistent and don’t give up quickly. You can try novel exercises, nutrition plans, and workouts under the supervision of a dietitian or personal trainer to help break through plateaus and see consistent progress.
Starting your weight or fat loss journey alone isn’t always the easiest thing to do. If you need help getting started or want experts at NEPA Fit Club to create a path to success and guide you every step of the way, then click here to get started!